Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:How long will it be (Score 1) 242

Sure, things will be different in the future, but that doesn't mean that asteroid mining will become profitable. That's just magic thinking. Despite things being a whole lot different than 9,000 years ago, asteroid mining is still just as far away. You're making the invalid assumption that exponential curves can be extrapolated arbitrarily into the future. It's a very common mistake. The recent boom and bust in the housing market is caused by people making the same assumption.

And of course, the desire to have large families doesn't have to be entirely up to genetics. The only requirement is that some genes have some influence. Families with those genes will have a slightly larger exponent in their exponential growth. A slightly larger exponent is sufficient to take over the population, given enough time. Also, people tend to look for partners with similar interest in family size, so different genes contributing to large family sizes will be combined in their children, giving them even more desire to have bigger families.

Comment Re:How long will it be (Score 1) 242

You have no evidence whatsoever to back this up, even excusing the mistaken idea that the desire for big families is somehow genetic

Why is that idea mistaken ? The number of offspring is one of the key factors in evolutionary fitness. The other important factor is the ability to keep them alive. In a normal society, as has existed for more than a billion years, these two factors have to be balanced out, since it would be foolish to get 10 offspring, while you only have food for 2 or 3, and it would be equally foolish to only have 2-3 when there's food for 10. Now, in your cornucopia society, where there's plenty of resources, the limiting factor is taken off the table, so you'd expect for the other factor to take over.

If you are claiming that one of the core parameters to evolutionary fitness does not have any genes in our DNA, it seems you should be providing the evidence.

Comment Re:Getting real with AI (Score 1) 242

I agree, and where I live the urban infrastructure is already compact, and designed with bikes in mind. There are bike paths everywhere, supermarkets are small, and spread out through the town, so I can choose between 3 competing supermarkets all within a 3 mile radius.

In places where the infrastructure is spaciously designed around automobiles, it is much harder to retrofit bike paths. Distances between places are often too big to make biking a good option.

Comment Re:How long will it be (Score 0) 242

Unless you can show a comprehensive business case, mining asteroids is pure science fiction. Besides, while asteroids are a good source of metals, they don't contain much other needed stuff, such as energy. And if we had plenty of energy, we might as well go after low grade ores on Earth.

And yes, people are growing exponentially, and they'll continue to do so. The fact that in some societies, like Western Europe, the birthrates are declining is only a temporary anomaly. Couples that don't have any children are a genetic dead end. Their genes will be gone in 1 generation. On the other hand, couples that love big families will spread their genes exponentially. Just wait a few dozen generations, and they will have completely displaced the others.

Comment Re:Units and news (Score 2) 120

Sure, 10000 km is 10000 km, everybody knows that. But to make a mental image, you need to put that in scale with the earth, moon and satellites. Knowing these sizes is just memorization of a bunch of trivia, often a sign of intelligence, but not always. I know a 6 year old kid who scored 135 on his IQ test, but failed the question about which day comes after Thursday.

Slashdot Top Deals

I don't want to be young again, I just don't want to get any older.